Softball falls, bounces back in Unconquered Invitational

Infielder Kaylan Davis walks back to the dugout, while South Alabama celebrates, after being called out on a check swing with two runners on to end the first game of a double header against South Alabama. The Lady Toppers dropped the game 3-2. (Ian Maule/HERALD)

Jonah Phillips

After falling on Friday to nationally ranked opponents No. 8 Michigan and No. 6 Florida State, the Lady Topper softball team was able to bounce back on Saturday, with wins over No. 19 Nebraska and Georgia Tech. 

Against Michigan, the Lady Toppers were never able to get the ball rolling and fell 8-0 after the run rule was applied, which says the game ends if one team is ahead by at least eight runs after five innings.

Senior Miranda Kramer notched five strikeouts and six walks, but gave up six hits and six runs in the loss. 

“We were able to get experience and continued learning how to play at that high level of competition,” Head Coach Amy Tudor said. “You have to be able to put yourself in that position to play against the best, in order to see where you are.”

The Wolverine’s lead was held to just one, until they notched a pair of RBI singles to bring the score to 3-0. Later, with the score at 6-0, relief pitcher Hannah Parker gave up two runs in the fifth inning, invoking the run rule. 

In Friday’s second contest, Kramer nabbed 15 strikeouts and allowed just two hits, but it still wasn’t enough to avoid a 2-1 defeat from Florida State.  

The Lady Toppers were able to make a turnaround for Saturday’s first game. 

Kramer again tabbed double-digit strikeouts with 10 and allowed just seven hits. 

Junior Brooke Holloway’s double to right field put the Lady Toppers up 2-0. The lead increased to 4-0 before Nebraska registered their first and only point on the game in the sixth inning. 

WKU conquered Georgia Tech in a 4-1 victory where senior Kayti Hanson equaled her career high in runs, scoring three of WKU’s four runs on the game. 

Georgia Tech got on the score sheet first, with a RBI double in the second.

WKU responded with two runs in the top of the third and finished the contest at 4-1, after a Hanson score again in the seventh. 

“Overall, I feel like people responded to criticisms very well this weekend, and I’m proud of our ability to bounce back,” Coach Tudor said. “I actually don’t plan on doing anything differently in next week’s games.”

The Lady Toppers will return to Bowling Green for their first home stand of the season at the Holiday Inn Hilltopper Spring Fling.  The event will begin Friday, Feb. 20 against Saint Louis, followed by contests against Eastern Illinois and IUPUI.